Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

flying home…

I’m in my hometown Houston to do a few events including a reading & booksigning Monday night at local indie stalwart, Brazos Bookstore

next Saturday afternoon the Houston-based, globally-minded magazine Objectif, will host a salon “On the Corner of Third Ward & Harlem” featuring myself and artist Tierney Malone, whose last solo show was titled “Third Ward is My Harlem”. The venue, labotanica, is an awesome community-driven project space on the campus of Project Row Houses. Musician Baron LaCroix will add to the multisensory, multigenre experience. The whole afternoon will be divine…

Saturday April 2nd, 2011
$5 admission
2316 Elgin (at Dowling) (in the lower level of the historic Eldorado Ballroom)
Houston, TX

once more, with feeling

a second look (!) from the New York Times, now in the Sunday Book Review…


I went to Los Angeles to chat with Tavis Smiley, and did a reading at the venerable Eso Won Bookstore

Watch the full episode. See more Tavis Smiley.


HARLEM IS NOWHERE is still bopping around town, and I’m racing to keep up.

Next week brings my last two NYC events for this debutante season: Tuesday March 1st with Teju Cole at the National Arts Club & Wednesday, March 2nd at the New School’s “Women Writers of the Diaspora” reading series.

The Daily Beast and Coolhunting ran interviews. has an excerpt and EBONY has a short review. Zadie Smith’s inaugural column as the new books columnist for Harper’s opens with a consideration; elsewhere, reviews appeared in Time Out New York and the Dallas Morning News.

Out in radioland,’s column “You Must Read This” featured HARLEM and I did an hour-long radio interview on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Here On Earth.

writing is fighting: The Literary Freedom Project

I’m grateful to Ron Kavanaugh, publisher of Mosaic Literary Magazine and executive director of The Literary Freedom Project for hosting the February 1st event at Hue-Man Bookstore. The Literary Freedom Project “seeks to restore the importance of reading books as an essential tool for creating intelligent, productive, and engaged young people.” This is important work for our times: support them if you can.

The Literary Freedom Project created a video with excerpts from our Hue-Man event:

extra, extra…

HARLEM was featured in the Black History Month special of today’s New York Daily News.

Elsewhere, a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel review which also ran in the Kansas City Star, the (Tacoma) News-Tribune, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Bellingham Herald, the Olympian, the Modesto Bee and the Macon Telegraph calls the book,  “A dazzling series of linked essays on Harlem…honors the dreamers imagining what Harlem could be…reminiscent of Joan Didion, [and] manages to be both remarkably cool and distinctly elegiac.”

Slate magazine’s Double X blog chose HARLEM as book of the week:  “Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts’ new book, Harlem Is Nowhere, resists easy classification: It’s part literary walking tour, part urban history, part memoir, and all beautiful prose.”

The blog of T, The New York Times Style Magazine, ran an impressive slideshow of Harlem images along with a beautiful consideration of three new books on the neighborhood. David Kennedy Jones says HARLEM IS NOWHERE “is not so much a history of Harlem as a kind of memoir of history. In its account of one person’s ascent up the imposing hill of centuries of Harlem’s stories, we have an example of how to read ourselves into the neighborhood, of how to think and how to believe when we rise out of the 125th Street station and into the bright heart of Black America.”

And here you can find the video from my appearance on NY1′s weekly show “The New York Times Close Up.” (Interview begins near the 9 minute mark)

i know you heard me on the radio (true)…

and to think how my sister and I used to GROAN when forced to listen to NPR during the drive to and from school.

“HARLEM” has been receiving some radio love.

First, this review on’s “Books We Like” section, by Jane Ciabbatari

Then, an interview on the national show, “Talk of the Nation”

And, another interview on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show”


The filmmaker ARTHUR JAFA has created a book trailer for HARLEM IS NOWHERE.

mixing it up…

Very glad the New York Times included an excerpt along with their publication day review, so you can read for yourself.

the sunday papers…

HARLEM IS NOWHERE had a busy weekend.

From Laura Miller in “Rhodes-Pitts is one of that rare breed of writer who, on the strength of her hypnotic voice and idiosyncratic thinking, can turn every sentence into a crooked finger, impossible to resist.”

From the Boston Globe: “Eloquently wades through [Harlem’s] mythology, evoking the neighborhood’s sense of both danger and promise…does an excellent job wrangling a century of material concerning Harlem into a readable narrative.”

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “Part diary, part history lesson, Rhodes-Pitts’s book chronicles her years-long pilgrimage from Texas to the storied place once known as Black Mecca…[She] is an elegant, scholarly writer…Given the new ground she covers on an old subject, HARLEM IS NOWHERE is worth the trip.”